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How to Claim Your Parents As Dependents On Your Taxes

By Jason Markum

As our aging parents get older they become more and more reliant on their children for just about everything. If you pay for most of your elderly parents living expenses, or maybe if they even live with you, you may have wondered whether or not you can claim them as a dependent when filing your taxes. If so, you’ll receive an additional personal tax exemption as well as the ability to receive medical expense deductions that your aging parent may not qualify for on their own because of their low tax bracket.

Well, to answer your question, yes you can claim them as a dependent under certain circumstances which I’ll be discussing in this article today.

Generally speaking, to claim your parents as a dependent for tax purposes you need to meet the following list of conditions…

First of all your parent must be a member of your household, or at least have some sort of family relationship to you. Acceptable family relationships include father, mother, father in law, or mother-in-law in the eyes of the IRS.

Next, your parent must make less than $2,350 a year in gross income as of several years ago. This figure will change every year, so make sure that you check with your accountant to see what this year’s actual number is. As long as your parent makes less than that amount, you’re good to go.

Next you have to supply, or have supplied, more than one half of the support needed by your parent within the last calendar year. These things include medical expenses, so that if you are paying their medical bills (which can be extremely expensive) you should be okay.

Next if you have a brother or sister who is also paying some of the support for your aging parent pay attention to this one. Imagine you and your siblings all chip in and together you pay more than the 50% of your parents support deemed necessary by the IRS… in that case you ARE eligible to claim them as a dependent, but only one of you is eligible. So if you have four brothers and sisters and they all chip in, one of you gets to claim the deduction.

Next your parent has to be a US citizen or a least a resident or national that resides in America for some part of the year. They may also be a resident of Mexico or Canada.

Finally, your parent can’t file a joint tax return. There are a couple of exceptions… one they can file a joint return if it’s only for the purpose of getting a tax refund. Also, they can file a joint return if they have no tax due.

Claiming your parent as a dependent can be a really good tax deduction, and it can save you an enormous amount of money especially over time. Be sure to check with your accountant or CPA beforehand to make sure that you meet all the requirements placed by the IRS.

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